How Organic Waste can be Recycled with Biodegradable Bin Bags?
Biowaste is usually placed in biodegradable bin bags ready for rubbish collection in green bins. It is recycled in two different ways after collection:
- either in a composting plant, where it rots into humus, or
- in a biogas plant, where the waste first ferments and biogas is obtained. The rest, which has not become gas, is composted into humus.
In composting plants, the first step is to free the organic waste as much as possible from impurities. Iron parts are removed with a magnet and as many plastic parts and large objects as possible with various screens and grippers.
The biodegradable bin bags will be part of the composting process as they rot along with the organic waste.
However, impurities, such as small plastic parts, can usually not be sorted out and every household should try to add plastic or any other non-organic rubbish to their specialist junk collection.
The pre-cleaned organic waste is then heaped up into large compost piles and, if necessary, mixed with other organic waste such as green waste in order to obtain structurally rich compost.
In biogas plants, the organic waste is also freed as much as possible from impurities and – mixed with another biowaste – filled into an airtight chamber.
Bacteria lead to fermentation processes, in the end mainly methane is produced. The gas is purified and can then either be fed into the natural gas grid or burned to generate electricity and heat in a combined heat and power plant.
Once all fermentable substances have been converted, the so-called digestate can be removed, composted, and used as humus fertilizer. Fermentation to biogas is technically more complex but represents better utilization because “green” energy is obtained.
Compostable Plastic should not be put in the Biodegradable Bin Bags
Contaminants are a problem in the organic bins and in the recycling of waste. Plastic materials are particularly common in the bin: plastic bags that were used to dispose of organic waste or packaging of food that has ended up in the organic bin together with its contents.
Plastic material, whether designated as compostable or not, should not end up in the organic bins. Conventional plastics do not rot or rot too slowly and, like microplastics, can endanger us or other living beings. Compostable plastics sometimes decompose only very slowly. They should only be in the organic bin if the municipality allows them.
It is therefore recommended to try and reuse any household waste as much as possible. But if it needs to be disposed of, it should go into the recycling bin rather than the organic bin.
Self-composting – an Alternative to Biodegradable Bin Bags and Organic Waste Collection
If you want to compost yourself to cut down on spending on biodegradable bin bags, you should pay attention to a few things:
- Structurally rich organic waste such as tree pruning, shrub, and hedge pruning, perennials, reeds, rushes, and straw should be crushed before composting if possible so that they rot faster. In particular, “acidic” and tannin-containing conifers can become a problem if they are too large.
- Low-structural compostable materials are kitchen waste such as vegetable and fruit residues, potato peels, tea residues, coffee grounds, and crushed eggshells. They are easy to compost. Garden waste such as lawn clippings, wild herbs, flowers, and foliage are also suitable. These substances are particularly nitrogenous and, together with the carbon-containing structure-rich materials, provide the ideal “food” for the microorganisms in the compost.
- Unsuitable are
- color-printed paper
- Food cartons made of composite materials
- Wastepaper and cardboard in larger quantities
- Dog and cat litter
- Street garbage, vacuum cleaner bag contents, and ashes
- Cooked or moldy food residues, meat, and fish waste can basically be composted. However, there is a risk that rats and pests will be attracted.
The compost can be used as a natural fertilizer or soil conditioner for garden plants, lawns, trees, and shrubs, but also for balcony plants and at the same time acts as a DIY upgrade for your outdoor space. Depending on the degree of ripeness, it is suitable for different plant species. Composting only makes sense if there is enough land for the finished compost to be fertilized.
So, always ensure you use biodegradable bin bags for your organic waste if you’re not composting and avoid adding any plastic or other rubbish that is not meant to go in it as it will affect the rubbish processing negatively.
- A blogger who understands waste clearance business and waste management process.